Inside Lagos port
COMTUA Promoting Corruption, Sharp Practices Along Nigeria’s Port Corridor-PSTT
Fred Omotara, Lagos
The Presidential Port Standing Task Team, (PSTT) has accused the Council of Maritime Truck Union and Associations (COMTUA) of encouraging corruption and sharp practices along the nations port corridors.
Addressing newsmen over the weekend in Lagos, the National Coordinator of the PSST, Mr. Moses Fadipe explained that anytime the PSTT arrest errant trucks causing obstruction along the port corridor, the COMTUA leadership immediately starts mounting pressure on the anti-corruption unit to allow the arrested truck leave without allowing the law to take it’s full cause.
 According to Mr. Fadipe, “Before we started the dismantling of corruption networks fueling traffic gridlock along the port corridor in 2021, we called all the truckers association, be it COMTUA, Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Fleet Owners Association (FOA) and others to a meeting and laid down the rules of engagement before them. “COMTUA, alongside all the truckers’ association agreed that we won’t apply sentiment if any of their members’ truck gets arrested. We all agreed that there won’t be any sacred cow in the implementation of government ease of doing business policy.
“In the cause of carrying out our duty, we have arrested trucks over use of two plate numbers. Imagine a truck going into the port with a plate number that has been sighted by security officials, only for the truck to approach the port exit gates with another plate number. Is that not a criminal case?
“We have also arrested trucks for illegal parking along the port corridor. The driver will leave his truck on the port access road and wonder away. Such trucks cause gridlock along the port corridor.
“However, it is disturbing to find out that COMTUA, one of the group that sat with us to agree on the rules of engagement of the PSTT, regularly calls me anytime the groups’ truck is arrested.
“The COMTUA President will call me, telling me that we cannot arrest his members’ truck because it is carrying cargoes worth millions of Naira.
“I have had to turn the COMTUA President down severally anytime trucks belonging to his members are arrested because that is not part of what we agreed to implement when we started.
“If we have to change the narrative of what is happening along Nigeria’s port access roads, the change has to start from you and me.
“We don’t have issues with the other truckers association like AMATO, RTEAN and others. It is only COMTUA that we keep having issues with.
“I have suffered two attacks because we have insisted on doing the right thing along the ports access roads. Just because we have refused to allow sacred cows in the cause of arresting errant truckers, COMTUA is claiming we are collecting bribes.”
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